Leanne Rule, is a 3D animator and illustrator, whose style combines the bright and silly, with strange and joyful characters and immersive worlds. She talks with SDT about her career and offers some brilliant advice on how to improve your practice.
Leanne Rule created this style frame for our first Brighton Workshop and subsequent animation challenge.
Q: What aspect of your job do you enjoy the most?
A: I love being able to make stuff that makes people laugh. I love the freedom I get to create work that I think is silly and a bit fun. I also love being my own boss and getting to make decisions myself, not having to worry too much about what others want me to do is a real treat and I feel grateful every time I get to work that way.
Q: What’s the most valuable lessons you’ve learnt as an animator?
A: Be organized ! I’m pretty good with deadlines and timings, but otherwise, I'm pretty bad at keeping track of myself. So many times I’ve gotten towards the end of a project and my files are a big mess, and I lose things or can't find things it's such a stress I could have saved if I had just been more organized along the way. So now I have to dedicate a real portion of my brain to make sure that doesn't happen.
Q: When you get a brief, what’s the first thing you do?
A: It depends on the brief, but most often I will sketch out ideas, or start designing. That's my favorite part of the process, so I love getting stuck into that side if i can, and it helps me to visualize how the project will work and how the animation will flow.
Q: What’s your best advice for working with a new client?
A: Be nice and communicate. New clients can sometimes feel a bit daunting but they’ve hired you because they like your work, so don't be scared of them or to ask questions you may think are stupid or obvious. If there's something you don't understand in the brief, don't muddle through, just ask them. And be nice because ultimately we all just want to work with nice people and they are much more likely to remember and work with you again if you're a chill dude.
Q: What would be your dream project, and why?
A: I’d love to create / direct my own series. I have some ideas bubbling around but I’ve never committed myself to really sitting down and fleshing them out and I really need to! I’d love to work on something with a bigger scale and budget so I could really get into something with bigger characters, plots, and jokes. I also love working in a team, I’m defo a people person so a show with a great team would be my dream!
TIP OF THE MONTH
Do you have a software tip that changed your world?
A: Add ons and plug ins. Why did I avoid these magical things for so long, they can make stuff SO much easier and faster and are often free?! Amazing.